Women's power in sexual relationships is thought to be an important predictor of condom use. However, research on correlates of condom use often relies on participant reporting of behavior, which has questionable validity. We evaluated the association between scores from the modified Sexual Relationship Power Scale (SRPS-M) and biological detection of semen exposure in a prospective study of adult women attending a sexually transmitted infection clinic in Kingston, Jamaica with cervicitis or abnormal vaginal discharge in 2010-2011. At enrollment, women were counseled to avoid sex while on treatment and were asked to return in 6 days for a follow-up visit. At both study visits, women were administered a questionnaire and had vaginal swabs collected to test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a biological marker of recent semen exposure. We found no significant association at enrollment or follow-up between SRPS-M scores and semen exposure, as measured with either self-reported data or PSA positivity. Semen biomarkers could be used to develop and validate new scales on relationship power and self-efficacy related to condom use.
Keywords: Condoms; Scale; Semen biomarker; Sexually transmitted infections; Validity.